Is all chicken meat tough?

happyhenstx

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5 Years
Aug 11, 2014
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Need HELP! I have been raising a mixed flock for eggs for about 2 years but have never processed any for meat, until this week! We had too many roosters, so decided to harvest the Jersey Giant. He was on the rotisserie right after he was plucked and the meat was so tough it was hard to choke down! He was probably 10 months old.Any advise would be great, at this point I am totally discourage to harvest another chicken!
 

cavemanrich

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7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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It may have been tough because you are used to eating premium chickens from the grocery referred to as broilers. They are usually 7 to 8 weeks old and their meat is TENDER. There is a reason old chickens are referred to as good soup birds. If you would have made chicken soup from him, you would say it was full of fantastic flavor.
BON APETIT
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cavemanrich

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I'm sure there are ways to marinate them to tenderize the meat. I'm not a chef, so its out of my department. Lets see what others suggest to make it more tender. I am a strong advocate for making soup. ( personal preference)
 

donrae

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I'd say next time try resting the bird for a few days in the refrigerator, then brine it (you can find recipes online easy enough). A moister cooking method would probably give better results also.

Chicken we get from the grocery store are babies, as mentioned above. Think veal as opposed to steak. Grocery store birds are also usually brined, so they're moister and juicier.

If I want to cook a bird right after processing, without resting, I've found the pressure cooker is the best way. 40 minutes in there with some veggies for flavor, cool and pull the meat. Makes great enchiladas, casseroles, chicken salad, etc.
 

BBQJOE

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I'd rest the bird for two days in the fridge wrapped in plastic. Then I'd punch the daylights out of it with a fork, and soak it in a large enough pan, with a few handfuls of sea salt and water to cover. Rinse off salt the next day, and proceed from there with a moist cooking. Baking, soup, or maybe the beer can method.
 
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Hiltonizer

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8 Years
Apr 30, 2011
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+1 for the 3 days of rest and brining (we do a simple sugar/salt brine).

Slower cooking methods are ideal too, 225F until 165F internal breast temp, in either the smoker or oven with a water bath, is the way to go. A wireless meat thermometer will change your life.
 

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